The famous bioluminescent beach
Whilst there are hundreds of incredible beaches dotted around the idyllic islands that make up The Maldives, there is one that is an extra bit special.
Located around 8km from the Male, the capital of the Maldives, Mudhdhoo Island (also known as Vaadhoo Island) is one of the islands of the Raa Atoll. It is also home to one of the most stunning natural phenomena in the world, that makes it a must see on any Maldives yacht charter - at night it has a beach that glows in the dark.
This truly amazing ethereal experience is called bioluminescence and occurs when light is emitted or created by plankton, a small marine organism, due to a natural reaction that occurs when they are exposed to oxygen. The result is a mystical blue glow stretching beneath the clear waters, an effect which is enhanced by the incredibly clear night skies the area is famous for.
The real magic starts as the moon rises and stars spill across the clear night sky. Then you will see the full effect of the translucent blue glow shimmering as the waves lap gently up against the shore.
A visit to the bioluminescent beach is an unforgettable experience. Sitting on the gorgeous white coraline sands watching the sun gradually dip below the horizon, bathing you in a feverish purple sunset is just the start. The real magic starts as the moon rises and stars spill across the clear night sky. Then you will see the full effect of the translucent blue glow shimmering as the waves lap gently up against the shore.
The island is home to a resort, so if you feel like spending a few nights on shore you can do so. Walk along the beach and leave your own footprint to glow briefly in the sand before it is washed away, take a dip in the water as the blue light dances around you or simply relax on the beach and take in the breathtaking sight you have before you.
As this is a natural phenomenon it is difficult to predict exactly when it will happen, although it is generally through that the period from July to December is when bioluminescent displays are more prevalent.
You don't even necessarily have to set foot on dry land to see this incredible display though. It is probably more likely to happen on a yacht charter offshore as breaking waves from a large vessel will light up any tiny organisms, however observing it from the beach itself, combined with a romantic meal and a gorgeous sunset is a wonderful experience.